Some positive developments on our busiest street, north to south …
- Burger King. I just heard from folks involved in this project, and here is the update on the location planned for the Walmart outlot: Groundbreaking is expected early this fall, with an opening this winter. I know a lot of people have been asking about this project, as the land remains undeveloped almost a year after the development was approved. It’s really nice to see them moving ahead with this. I can already taste my first Whopper.
- Nomi Coffee. The new coffee house on at 513 N. Chicago Ave. is now serving food, with the kitchen open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. The menu includes toasted ravioli, a turkey BLT, build-your-own grilled cheese, or a “Nomi Sandwich.” They’ve also repaved their parking lot in the last week.
- Citgo. The new gas station at the corner of 10th and Manitoba opened last week, too.
So, really good momentum. And more to come!
Just a reminder that the Restore the Lagoon group is holding its fundraising festival this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the Mill Pond on Oak Creek Parkway.
Enjoy food, drinks, live music, a silent auction, a kids’ corner and more for this second-annual event. Check out a flyer and more information on Restore efforts on the Restore the Lagoon Facebook page.
Also, our local Friends groups are planning several special events in September …
- September 12: Grant Park Beach Walk, 5-9 p.m. Enjoy a lighted walk on the beach, music, s’mores and more.
- September 19: Grant Park Beach cleanup. 9-11 a.m. Learn more here.
- September 26: Mill Pond Warming House open house, noon to 4 p.m. Celebrate restoration efforts with food, raffles and more.
Learn more about the beach walk and open house here.
Simple solutions can make a big difference too — and maybe even prevent cancer.
That’s the story behind the TMJ 4 report that aired last night on the South Milwaukee Fire Department’s newest safety tool — sanitizing wipes for their firefighters.
Check out the story here.
And here are some other local headlines …
NOW has published new police blotters here and here.
Also, the Milwaukee Post has published an article on the efforts to restore the Mill Pond and Oak Creek watershed. You can see it here. It provides a pretty accurate portrayal of the issue (although it calls us a village vs. a city).
In short, I’m excited for the progress we’re making toward a cleaner watershed, but we’re just getting started and we have a lot of work to do. The restoration study will help guide that work and get us that much closer to the long-term solutions we need to make the Oak Creek watershed something we can all be proud of again.
I want the city to be a partner in those efforts. And we have been.
The city continues to invest in urban forestry.
This time, it’s in stump grinding and removal.
The South Milwaukee City Council last Tuesday approved spending around $20,000 for the grinding of 196 tree stumps in street right of way and restoration of those areas. That includes 116 stumps from trees removed by property owners prior to 2014 — when ordinance changes stepping up the city’s ownership of street trees went into effect — and another 80 from trees removed by the Street Department in 2014 and 2015.
Removing dead and diseased trees like this is part of our ongoing commitment to this service, and we have a long ways to go, both in tree removal and replanting. But we’re making progress.
Removal will continue for years. A quick drive around town shows just how many dead or dying trees we have in the right of way in South Milwaukee.
And we’re making progress toward replanting.
Year one of the Arbor Day program was a big success, and we’ll bring it back in 2016.
We have to do more. The Beautification Committee will help.
One of its top duties will be to assist in tree planting efforts, including advising on a community tree management program (per Tree City USA requirements), coordinating an Adopt a Tree program for area residents, leading the Arbor Day celebration, and helping secure private funding for city tree planting efforts.
Want to join the committee? There is still time to apply. Please do so this week here.
The Milwaukee County Parks and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse are partnering on a survey to better understand the experience of park users in and around South Milwaukee.
They are specifically looking for thoughts on Grant and Bender Parks.
Access the survey here.
Please take it, and share the link with your family, friends and other users of the local parks. In fact, even if you haven’t been to Grant Park recently, please take it — your feedback is valuable, too.
I thank the UW-La Crosse’s Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation program for their interest in our local parks — and for the Parks Department for agreeing to allow the survey.
The honest feedback they gain should be invaluable. Please do your part and share your thoughts — good, bad and everything in between.
The South Milwaukee football team — coming off three straight Woodland Conference East Division championships — opens the 2015 season with a game against Milwaukee Morse-Marshall on Thursday at Pulaski High School in Milwaukee.
Kickoff is 7 p.m. (late time change).
The team’s home opener is Friday, August 28, against West Allis Hale, and homecoming is September 25 against Brown Deer. The Rockets travel to Cudahy on October 2.
Check out the full schedule here. Go Rockets!
(That photo is from SouthMilwaukeeFootball.org and J and J Double Take Photography, following South Milwaukee’s win over Cudahy in 2014.)
With the start of school fast approaching, the Beech Street foot bridge over Oak Creek has been on many minds of late.
Here is the latest update from Milwaukee County: The bridge, removed in May because it was deemed unsafe, is expected to be rebuilt and reopened for foot traffic by Nov. 15.
I appreciate the Parks Department tackling this project before the snow flies, and while I initially hoped for completion in time for the start of school, I quickly realized this was unrealistic. Four months for planning, designing and building a significant project like this – one that will stand the test of time as a key connection between the northwest side of town and school campuses — is very reasonable.
Of course, it’s unlikely this would be done at all in 2015 without Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik, who successfully pushed for emergency funding in a resolution approved by the county board in June. So we should all thank Pat for driving that – and thank her and the administration for all of the investments happening in South Milwaukee’s parks this year and beyond.
The best part: Things are just getting started.
With more than 20% of our land mass comprised of parks, enhancing these public spaces is critical for our city. Those enhancements are clearly happening, and will continue to happen if we all work together toward a more promising future for our public spaces.